Lets start with how we spend our moments
If you are average, you’ll spend thirty one minutes a day on child care.
You will also spend seven minutes a day on plant and or pet care.
You will spend 16 minutes a day (roughly a year of your life) looking for lost items.
You will spend 29 minutes a day visiting other people (a figure that has dramatically declined over the decades)
You will spend 6 months of your life at traffic lights, 3 months of which will be spent at the light at Mira Mesa by the movie theater.
If you’re average, you spend 75 minutes a day commuting. So you multitask. Do you know what the top three most dangerous things you can do while you are driving are. (Talking on the cell phone, applying makeup is another. Last one, it’s number one. Reading. Who reads in the car?)
There are other things that may not end up on our calendar but take up our time including video games and television and hobbies. On top of that, add the unexpected. Car problems, health issues, visits from relatives. One medical ad targeted “women who don’t have time for a yeast infection” as opposed to all the slackers out there who have plenty of time in their schedules for one.
My calendar is filled with all kinds of events and responsibilities and important dates. I read this week some profound thoughts on our calendars that I want to read you. Lewis Smedes put it like this.
I bought a brand new date book yesterday, the kind I use every year. Every square has a number to tell me which day of the month I’m in at the moment. Every square is a frame for one episode of my life. Before I’m through with the book, I will fill the squares with classes I teach, people with whom I ate lunch, everlasting committee meetings I sit through, and these are only the things I cannot afford to forget. I fill the squares too with things I do not write down to remember: thousands of cups of coffee, some lovemaking, some praying, and, I hope, gestures of help to my neighbors. Whatever I do, it has to fit inside one of these squares on my date book. I live one square at a time. The four lines that make up the box are the walls of time that organize my life. Each box has an invisible door that leads to the next square and I will fill it with my busy-ness, just as I did the square before. As I get older, the squares seem to get smaller. One day I will walk into a square that has no door. There will be no mysterious opening and no walking into an adjoining square. One of those squares will be terminal. I don not know which square it will be. Lewis Smedes.
1) A person who lives in the moment is a good forgetter.
In some ways, the older I get, the better I get at forgetting. In fact, I’ve become world class at forgetting. Has this happened to you. You’re sitting on your couch and go to the bedroom for something and you get in the middle of your bedroom and you have no idea why you are there. I know I came her for some reason, I just have no idea what it is. Has this happened to you? Then I’ll go back and sit down on the couch and it suddenly comes back to me. “Oh, that’s right. I was supposed to go to bed.” Has that ever happened to you. Okay, how about this. Have you ever gone to the grocery store, paid for your food and then left without your food. It’s happened to me. It just happened to me a week ago. As I’m leaving the bag boy says, “Excuse me sir, your food!?” Then the bag boy and the cashier have a good laugh. Have you ever bought food at a drive through, paid for it, and left without the food. Now that’s embarrassing. That’s a long walk into McDonald’s. “Excuse me, I just bought some food and left without it.”
I am world class at forgetting. But there are certain things I have a hard time forgetting. I have a hard time forgetting stupid decisions from my past. I have a hard time forgetting certain failures. I have a hard time forgetting hurtful words that people have said about me.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
Underline the phrase Forgetting what is behind. Our past can be our roadblock to being in the moment.
So how do we do that. Paul has some great advice for putting the past aside. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. In these verses Paul gives us a profoundly powerful thought. Forgetting is not just a matter of forgetting the past. Actually, the more we focus on forgetting our past, the more we remember our past. Anyone who has ever tried to break a habit understands the truth of this.
Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before. But she acted as if she had never heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply. “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”
2) A person who lives in the moment gets rid of fretting
Okay, we’ve talked about how the past steals from our square, now lets talk about how the future steals from today’s square.
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Mattthew 6:34
We have a saying in our house that I use all the time. When Jilane has gone shopping and she’s starting to carry in the groceries and she’s overloaded with bags I’ll say to her, “Jilane, don’t carry all of that. Make two trips.” I’m nothing if not sensitive. That is in essence what Jesus is saying. Don’t exceed your weight limit. You’ve got enough to handle with today’s burdens. Don’t add tomorrows.
If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Psalm 37:23-26
Worry doesn’t rob tomorrow of it’s sorrow. It robs today of it’s strength. Corrie Ten Boom.
3) A person who lives in the moment is good at filling their square.
If we are going to live in the moment, we have to be really good at filling our square with what matters.
Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are… Watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. Ephesians 5:11,16 (The Message)
Lewis Smedes said One day I will walk into a square that has no door. One of those squares will be terminal. I do not know which square it will be. Several years ago Lewis Smedes at the age of 81 was on a ladder putting up Christmas lights when he slipped and fell and hit his head. After three days in a coma, he died. His square was terminal. None of us knows what day that will be for us. But we know we are here today. Let’s make the most of it.